There are multiple purposes for this blog. First, I'd like to share with you how mental illness can interfere with or enhance the writer's life. Second, I want to explore a more disciplined approach to the writing life. This blog will hold me accountable as I navigate story throughout my battle with mental illness.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Brave New Plan

Just the third week into the new year, and I've decided to tweak my goal of reading one book a week for the remainder of the year.

For just over a month I was out of commission due to a series of upper respiratory infections and sinus infections with a tooth abscess on top. I began reading my first book, WWW.WATCH by Robert Sawyer shortly after Jan 1st, but it was a slow process. When you are down, it's difficult to complete things you know you need to. I rebelled, kicked and screamed all the way until early Monday morning Jan 20th when I finally completed it. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book (I did for the most part). It took 2 rounds of antibiotics only to determine the little buggers were resistant to it. That was 20 days being ill and no relief. It wasn't until I began a 3 day regime of Zithromax that the infection began to slow and I started feeling better. OCD and ADD hardly ever help the situation.

However, I did indeed finish the book in 2 weeks. Last year I picked it up and read the first 40 pages at least on 4 or 5 occasions. Even this late achieved goal led me to completion. So, goal setting really does work. Now for the tweaks I was talking about.

I intend to read (or listen to) at least 4 books in any given calendar month. This leaves me some leeway should I fall ill or some other series of unfortunate events occur. The lesser restrictions benefit the ADD part of me. I realize I made the initial goal of 1 book a week to combat the ADD. Oh well. Come on, throw me a bone. I'm still reading more material than I have in a long time.

The efficiency is much better overall. For example, should I finish a book 2 days before the "week" was over, I'd be uncertain about beginning another for fear that I could not complete it within the 2 days allotted. This caused more anxiety than what remaining time on the schedule was worth. With the new method I can begin that book anyway.

Have any of you tweaked a resolution or goal to suit your needs at the time? I'd like to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book-A-Week & Outline-A-Month

I'm sure the Blogosphere is bound to be buzzing like busy bee's considering this is the time that many will be posting their goals, resolutions, and projects for the upcoming year. This is a good a time as any to throw my lot in the mix and reacquaint myself to the Blogosphere. I've decided to undertake another New Year's resolution/challenge. This is but one of many, however, I would like to have some accountability for this one. And since it involves writing, I'll make that intention here.

I haven't been doing much writing or reading for that matter. OCD and ADD can do that to you. Couple that with being undisciplined and I'm a complete disaster.  It's a long and slow journey. Like the Chinese philosopher Laozi said  "A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".  

I am going to attempt to read at least one book a week during this calendar year of 2013. I hope that the practice will carry on to my remaining years. There is so much to read and so little time. For me, this seems like an olympic leap than a small step, however, because I'll be focusing mostly on the reading and the outlining (and exercise of course) I will push some of these other worries, burdens, and aspirations to a dark hidden crevice in my mind. That's right. I said aspirations. I have so much I want to do and learn and because of the OCD and ADD, it precludes me from this. So it stands to reason that this may actually help with my OCD and ADD since I'll be narrowing my focus by not taking on too much of a variety of things. Reading and Outlining/Writing Novels. That's all I'm about this year. To hell with everything else, I say!

I've already made some selections that I'll read for sure.  I'll post a tentative schedule soon. Feel free to comment about my choice of selections and the selections themselves. And if you would like to join me in your own Book-A-Week, let's get in touch.

I plan on reading from a fairly broad variety of both fiction and nonfiction books. Most of the fiction will be from the Science Fiction and Hi-Tech Thriller genres. There is some fantasy I want to delve into.  On the nonfiction side, I'll be reading mostly popular science and philosophy books. Those I have chosen or will choose will be books that I find relevant to the research I need for my novel and story ideas.

This week I'll be reading WWW:WATCH, the second of the WWW trilogy by Robert J Sawyer. The first I read about 2-3 years ago. I plan on finishing Sunday at the latest.

I'm also going to begin a nonfiction writing book, Where do You Get Your Ideas? by Fred White. I'm allowing up to 2-3 weeks to finish this one, although I'm shooting for 1-2.

My first day has now begun, but the week will usually begin on Monday and end on Sunday.

I'm also planning on completing one novel outline (detailed, if possible) a month. 

I hope to post more often in the future. I'll certainly have more writing related posts to share. 
So... if you'd like to join me on this adventure, I'll be happy to have you on board. 

Happy New Year to all and good luck with all your goals and resolutions...